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    Default New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    I am toying with creating a shapeshifting class for pathfinder. Basically, you get to be a summoner's eidolon, but with the ability to reallocate your evolution points on the fly. The amount of time it takes to change will probably reduce as you level. It may start as a full-round to change, then reduce to a standard, then a move, and eventually be a convenient swift. Maybe even an immediate at 20th. Changing the base form would also be allowed, either as part of the change, or by a change 1 step longer, but the stat shifts would be relative from your rolled stats.

    From a raw power perspective, you probably end up behind a summoner. You have more HD than an eidolon, but you lack a summer's hit points backing you up. You also end up lower in action economy, since there is no summoner to cast spells while you maul things, and you lack the buffs a summoner would normally throw on their eidolon.

    However, you do have a lot of flexibility. Being able to shift to have the correct energy immunity, or deal the proper energy damage, is useful. you can spend points on being able to fly, then reallocate them when you don't need them. Spontaneously gain the ability to swim or burrow as needed, allow characters to ride you, etc. The flexibility is definitely powerful.

    However, how much does this flexibilty matter? Is it too powerful and needs limits, like less evolution points than an eidilon gets? Too weak and needs buffs? Other class features it could gain would be more evolution points, bonus feats, the ability to use natural weapon specific feats on any natural weapon, the ability to utilize extra item slots if you have the appropriate body parts(like the 3.5 feat from savage species), or to use shapechanging as a disguise.

    Some evolutions may need removed or modified. The +8 skill is probably not appropriate, otherwise it would be the ultimate skill monkey. Actually, a single level dip from a skill monkey class would be the best skill monkey, allowing some +8 skills to arbitrarily throw around. Not good. The ability increases should probably be limited to physical stats. Weapon training also doesn't fit with being a shapeshifter, though they may get it from the class itself. The movement speeds don't have any limits, which allows you to shift to something blazing fast, zip to where you want to go, and shift to something else

    So, what do you guys think? Overpowered and needs nerfs, underpowered and needs some extras, just a horrible concept to start with?

    Edit: Here is the proposed class. I will update this bsed on feedback.

    True Shapeshifter:
    For whatever reason, you are able to change the shape of your body. Perhaps you have some touch of changeling blood interacting with other exotic bloodlines you have, or perhaps you have some Eidolon heritage. Maybe you have simply learned to utilize your arcane gifts in an unconventional manner. Regardless of the cause, your ability to shape your body makes you a formidable and flexible opponent.

    Alignment: Any

    Hit dice: d8

    Starting wealth: 2d6x10gp

    Class skills:
    Acrobatics, Climb, Disguise, Escape artist, Fly, Heal, Intimidate, Perception, perform, profession, sleight of hand, stealth, survival, swim

    Skill ranks: 2+int

    BaB: 3/4
    good fort and reflex saves

    Class skills:

    Weapon and Armour Poficiency:
    A Shapeshifter is not proficient with any form of armor or shields. They try not to rely on defenses that cannot shift form with them as they become limiting, so a shapeshifter cannot shift while wearing armour. A shapeshifter is proficient with all simple weapons, but rarely train to use martial weapons.

    Shapeshift:
    The primary ability of a shapeshifter is to change their body. You gain a pool of evolution points that can give you different abilities and powers. When shifting, you can spend these evolution points to change your body. This works like allocating points for a Summoner's Eidolon. These points can be re-allocated as you wish with a full-round action. The number of available points per level can be seen on the table.

    Additionally, you can change your base form. If you are humanoid, your normal racial traits represent the bipedal form. To change to another form, adjust all physical stats by the difference between the desired form's stats and the bipedal stats. For instance, becoming a quadruped would lower your str by 2, increase your dex by 2, and leave your con unchanged. You also gain the base speed as appropriate for the base form. You may also take the free evolutions for that form; this means you may grow claws in your normal form for no cost.

    Restrictions on Evolutions based on base form apply normally, and restrictions based on summoner level are based on shapeshifter level. Additionally, the shapeshifter cannot utilize a evolution that is a mental change. From the core list, this means that you cannot take the skilled evolution for skills based o knowledge or skill more than physical ability, use the ability increase evolution to increase mental scores,or the weapon training evolution(though you may take weapon proficiency feats). Using skilled on a stat based on a physical ability grants a bonus equal to 1/2 your level, rounded down, min 1.

    Allowed skills: Acrobatics, climb, escape artist, fly,
    perception, stealth, swim

    At DM discretion, other skills may be boosted in certain circumstances

    Additionally, a shapeshifter may take the following evolutions:

    Low-light vision: 1 point
    You alter your eyes to see easier in low light. You gain low-light vision

    Darkvision: 1 point
    You must already have low-light vision to take this evolution. You further modify your eyes to gain darkvision out to 60 ft.

    Evasion: 2 points
    must be level 2. You gain the evasion ability.

    Improved evasion: 3 points
    must be level 14. You gain the improved evasion ability.

    Fast change:
    At level 5, a shapeshifter can reallocate their evolution points with a standard action

    At level 10, they can reallocate them as a move action

    At level 15, they can reallocate them as a swift

    at level 20, they can reallocate them as an immediate action

    Disguise:
    A shapeshifter can use their ability to disguise that they are themselves. This gives them +20 bonus to disguise skill checks to disguise their identity, but they do not have precise enough control to assume the form of a specific individual, and the bonus does not apply.

    At level 10, their mastery improves, allowing them a +10 bonus to disguise themselves as a specific person that they are familiar with.

    Max attacks:
    As a shapeshifter advances in level, they improve their ability to wield natural weapons. See the chart for the max number of natural attacks a shapedshifter can use for a given level.

    Armor bonus:
    As a shapeshifter advances in level, they gain an increasing ability to harden their skin. They may gain a natural armour bonus according to the table.

    Str/dex bonus:
    A shapeshifter's control over their body allows them to heighten their physical prowess. They may gain the appropriate str/dex bonus as shown on the table.

    note: anytime this refers to the chart, see the chart for eidolon abilities based on summoner level.
    Last edited by Mystify; 2012-01-25 at 03:31 PM.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    If I would be thinking of actually trying something like this I don't think a complete change should be allowed each round. Maybe allowing a 1/3 of points allowed to be changed. Being able changed the whole abilities of the class seems a bit over powered.

    You are probably right Skill increase is right out the window. And you have to remember that you will have the ability to assign your attributes points. You might also have to take out the increase the attributes points that is also a very high power thing for a character.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Wagadodo View Post
    If I would be thinking of actually trying something like this I don't think a complete change should be allowed each round. Maybe allowing a 1/3 of points allowed to be changed. Being able changed the whole abilities of the class seems a bit over powered.

    You are probably right Skill increase is right out the window. And you have to remember that you will have the ability to assign your attributes points. You might also have to take out the increase the attributes points that is also a very high power thing for a character.
    Virtually every other shapeshift effect in the game occurs within a single action.

    I considered the ability to assign ability points, but that seems reasonable. A druid will get attribute bonuses from wild shape, a wizard can get them from polymorph spells. It seems right that a class based entirely on shapeshifting should be able to get them. They are level limited.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    True, but most of the other shapechange effects do have a duration limitation. Such as the druid's change of 1/hr per level. Which really is a very long time... Anyways, there is still a limiting time factor.

    Now would you start off as humaniod? Or would you be your own special race called eidolon gone wild? (Sorry couldn't resist)

    What type of BAB would you go with? Saves? Would you change those based on the type of form that is taken? Do you always have to be in the Eidolon form? Or does it need to be its own race?

    Truthfully I think it would be a cool class to play. I am going to be playing a summoner in my next game that I play so it would be kinda of interesting to skip over some of the spell casting and go straight to the fun of changing things around all the time.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Most other shapechange effects are merely spells or class features. They all last long enough to easily be used for prep, and can easily be activated, perhaps mutliple times, withing the course of a single combat. The druids limit is meaningless by 8th level, as yo ucan hold a form all day, and resuse it multiple times.

    While making it a race-specific class could be flavorful, I don't see why it couldn't be an option to everyone. Sorcerers have powers stemming from their bloodline, the trueshaper could be said to originate this ability from their bloodline as well. Or it could just be an arcane abilty they master. The flavor of why they shapechange can be left up to the campaign.

    I was going to go with full BaB, which gives it an edge over a normal eidolon due to hit dice. good fort saves, perhaps reflexes as well. Changing them based on base form would be kinda weird. An eidolon is locked to a single base form, and so tieing the saves to it makes sense. I would say change them, but the base forms allow yoou to get good will saves, and I don't picture this as a class that is mentally flexible, just physically flexible.

    I think it is perfectly reasonable to assume that your base humanoid form serves as the biped base form, and adjust the physical stats for the other base forms relative to it. Not to imply you couldn't alter the looks of your biped form to correspond to what you want, but I picture your base race would be the "default". This does come around to the question of if they should be able to use it as a disguise. To disguise themselves as "not me" seems a given, but at what point, if ever, should they gain the ability to control the shape change precisely enough to disguise themselves as someone else? I'm thinking that if it is allowed, it should occur when a spellcaster would be getting alter self (I think 5th level, off the top of my head). It definitely fits into the flavor of being a shapeshifter, and I doubt it would unbalance the class.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    I've added a initial draft of the class to the first post.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    i honestly think it's too much flexibility for a PC.

    At least make changing your base form require a 5 min rest.
    Also spending half or 2/3 of the points at the begining of the day, like a wizard or somthing, and letting the rest float via your rules may be a good comprimise.

    actually it'd kinda be like incarnum then, you prepare them at the beginning, and you shift power as you need it
    Last edited by Sir Swindle89; 2011-05-11 at 10:12 AM.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Why should it take that long to drop to all fours when you can grow a dozen limbs easily?

    Keep in mind this flexibilty is coming at the cost of having a spellcaster. You don't have a summoner to buff you, or do battelfield control, while you go tear things up.

    Also, limiting them to 1/2 their points isn't really going to stop themfrom doing much. even 4 floating points is enough to let them gain fast healing at will, throw up spell resistance, gain blindsight, gain Dr, gain a burrow speed, become immune to any damage type, grow wings, add energy attacks, etc. That is more a limit on what flavorful transformations they can pull off than actually limiting their effectiveness.

    Also, these changes require an investment in their action economy until very high levels. And at those high levels, spellcasters can have even more flexibilty if they want . A spellcaster with shapechange(happens at 17th level, compared to the shapeshifter's 15th level for swift change) gives them access to most of these options. At low levels, giving up a full round or standard action to change means you are not contributing for likely a large portion of the battle.

    Its certainly powerful, but does it really compare with double the action economy with a spellcaster, who could force most of the situationally useful changes anyways, can buff you, summon reinforcements, and at high level's duplicate your combat ability? Does this flexibility really match up wth what mages can sling around? The resitances/immunities can easily be gained by a single spell, spellcasters virtually alwasy have some form of fly available, burrow is a low level spell, stoneskin grants the DR, the breath weapon is comparable to an evokation spell...

    I considered haivng a rounds/day limit on being shifted ,liek a barbarians rage or a bard's music, but while a non-raging barbarian can still swing an axe and a non-singing bard can still cast spells, a unchanged shapeshifter is just naked and useless.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystify View Post
    I considered haivng a rounds/day limit on being shifted ,liek a barbarians rage or a bard's music, but while a non-raging barbarian can still swing an axe and a non-singing bard can still cast spells, a unchanged shapeshifter is just naked and useless.
    Ok, i can see this working. If you only let them use enough points to get to a reasonable(only playtesting can tell) powerlevel for the full day, then do a times per day on the rest of the points.

    If you also gave evolution surge as a SLA a couple times per day, they wouldn't have to hulk out to accomplish minor tasks.

    You appear to be comparing the shape shifter to an edilon w/o his master, but theoretically the edilon is 33% more powerfull, because he gets all 20HD, or at least he should be. Not that that makes him stronger than a summoner, but it still counts for somthing.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Swindle89 View Post
    Ok, i can see this working. If you only let them use enough points to get to a reasonable(only playtesting can tell) powerlevel for the full day, then do a times per day on the rest of the points.

    If you also gave evolution surge as a SLA a couple times per day, they wouldn't have to hulk out to accomplish minor tasks.

    You appear to be comparing the shape shifter to an edilon w/o his master, but theoretically the edilon is 33% more powerfull, because he gets all 20HD, or at least he should be. Not that that makes him stronger than a summoner, but it still counts for somthing.
    Are you proposing a fixed number of evolution points they can spend per day? That might work. Allow them to shift between their normal form and their last shifted form for no cost, just so you aren't forcing them to walk around as a monster all day, then can spend points from a pool to effect changes from that. Also give them 1 free change in the morning so they don't have to spend points to change back. These points would need to be enough to outdo what a summoner with evolution surge would be accomplishing. It would kinda be like a psionic character, only with better action economy and a much more limited spell list.

    I don't think the evolution surge is an ability they should get, as that too easily improves their power. I'd say that evolution surge (and the oone that removes evolution points, forget what it is called) would be reasonable to cast on them, but that requires an external buffer, and so that increase would be the result of team synergy. The evolution point pool would work better, without actually increasing their evolution point cap.

    That 33% (which is an overestimate, since the majority of their power comes from evolution points. ) is to compensate for the lack of buffs the summoner would be pouring into you, including 6 point evolution surges, AC bonuses, etc. You might be able to make an argument for 3/4 progression, which would but their bab in line with a normal eidolon, and weaken their hit dice.
    Last edited by Mystify; 2011-05-12 at 10:22 AM.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystify View Post
    Are you proposing a fixed number of evolution points they can spend per day? That might work. Allow them to shift between their normal form and their last shifted form for no cost, just so you aren't forcing them to walk around as a monster all day, then can spend points from a pool to effect changes from that. Also give them 1 free change in the morning so they don't have to spend points to change back. These points would need to be enough to outdo what a summoner with evolution surge would be accomplishing. It would kinda be like a psionic character, only with better action economy and a much more limited spell list.
    Not realy what i was proposing (at leasst i don't think so). But hey if you like it then sure

    I was saying having a semi-permanent evolution pool(set after an extended rest). and an enraged pool(accesseed and alocated every time they hulked out which could only be done a few times per day).

    So with your proposed system they get more and more freaky until they sleep and turn back to normal? or do the evolutions have a duration?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystify View Post
    I don't think the evolution surge is an ability they should get, as that too easily improves their power. I'd say that evolution surge (and the oone that removes evolution points, forget what it is called) would be reasonable to cast on them, but that requires an external buffer, and so that increase would be the result of team synergy. The evolution point pool would work better, without actually increasing their evolution point cap.
    I'm pretty sure theres a feat that lets you get a new class skill so they'll get a wand and UMD either way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystify View Post
    That 33% (which is an overestimate, since the majority of their power comes from evolution points. ) is to compensate for the lack of buffs the summoner would be pouring into you, including 6 point evolution surges, AC bonuses, etc. You might be able to make an argument for 3/4 progression, which would but their bab in line with a normal eidolon, and weaken their hit dice.
    ya, i know it's not realy near 33% but the extra HD are worth mentioning. So is having your full WBL to pour into your self rather than splitting it.


    BTW the reason i'm so interested in this thread is, i was developing a simular class that evolved when enraged, but took damage proportional to the EP spent on the rage at the end of the rage.
    Also summoners and Edilons are awsome

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    It may be better to bring down their total effective power then their flexibility. The entire poitn of this clas is to let you shift into whatever form is convienent at the time, while still allowing you to be flavorful with it. Having a portion of your evolution points fixed drastically reduces the flavor of this class. Instead of being able to shapeshift easily, as I am implying by the title "true shapeshifter", you more likely have a standard chassis that you swap additions to. I'd prefer "I turn into a fish monster and dive into the water" over" I grow webbing on my hands and gills". The latter type of abilties could be an interesting class feature, but the former is what I am going for, and it feels much better as the sole ability of the class.

    As you pointed out, what I said implies more of a limit on the delta of your shifts, so you are more likely to shift as little as possible to accomplish what you need, then leave it, which also doesn't fit the concept I am going for.

    A rounds/day system allows them full flexibility while they are shifting, and hence fits the concept best at those times, but this character will be especially useless outside of those times, and greatly hampers some of their intended utility. Any application of their shapeshifting that lasts more than a few seconds is no longer feasible, since that takes up a large amount of your abilities for the day, and you'd only have a matter of seconds anyways.

    My goal was to have a lower max effectiveness than a summoner/eidolon combo, and make up for it with this flexiblity. I considered double the action economy and a decent spellcaster a pretty hefty tradeoff.

    And analysisng the level 20 capabilities of both, the summoner gets to turn into their eidolon, effectively doubling their combave force (more or less). A shapeshifter can shapeshift as an immediate action. I got this idea based on master transmogrogifist(however you spell it) from 3.5, which gained that ability at high levels. Its main utiltiy to allowing you to shapeshift to counter an enemies attack. So if someone throws a fireball at you, you could shift into something fire immune. Its a useful and potent ability, but I don't think it comapres to double eidolon power.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystify View Post
    Its a useful and potent ability, but I don't think it comapres to double eidolon power.
    Theres not a lot you could to to make a character better than 2 of himself

    On actual mechanics what if you just went a full over with your power point analogy? double the number of EP he gets and give the evolutions durations.

    Maby make the durations alterable (I.E. one pint or somthing to keep an active evolution up for the next minute)

    Edit: you'll have to cap spending so you don't get a nova'ing problem
    Last edited by Sir Swindle89; 2011-05-12 at 01:14 PM.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    That just encourages using minimal evolution changes, even if most of the change you would be doing is for flavor.

    For instance, if I want to turn into a scorpion, I would turn into a quadraped, add an extra set of legs, add a limbs for arms and cap with pincers, add a tail, a stinger on the tail, and poison on the stinger. Perfectly reasonable, flavorful thing to do, yet if I had to pay for each evolution from my daily limit, idiotic. I would be spending irrecoverable resources on fluff. I think fluff is good for role playing, but it shouldn't come at a high cost.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Mystify,

    I like what you are going with here. I just got my PDF for Ultimate Magic from Paizo. They have a substitution class that is might fight some what into what you are trying to do with your class. When it finally hits some of the free sites out there take a look at wha they do with the Summoner class with the Synthesist. It is not a true shapechanger. You are more of a merge into the Eilodon that you summon than you are your own Eilodon.

    Now on to your class. The problem with a shapechanging character is that if they are always able to do all the time there will not be as much challenge, or much choice, they can just adapt to about any situation and over come it with out any type of fore thought. It would become, Oh, there is a fire pit, okay time to switch out Gills 2.0 for fire resist since we don't have to swim any more. Then so, on and so forth as each challenge is presented. Now, doing that every once in a while is COOL, doing that for every challenge is boring.

    How about this, about an hour ritual each more that this changer has to perform so they can be ready themselves to change certain parts of their bodies. Say Either a base 1/4 or 1/2 of their total pool can be changed on the fly to about anything they want... Or maybe they have certain portions of themselves that are always in flux. Where they have can change one evolution out for another or multiple if they are different point costs.

    Say I have Flight a 2 point evolution going so at a set level I would allowed to change that out for another 2pt evolution or two 1pt evoltion, so I could get extra claws and then pounce.

    Just allow the character to change each morning after an hour of meditation with forms they would want to change, and what they can change them to. So instead of whole sale change, they would only be able to change them into set things?

    Just a couple ideas.

    Oh yah, I think you will like, the Synthesist... I think they decided they wanted to knock the Summoner up a tier... Or two...

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Spellcasters can do anything the shapechanger could do, and then some. Fly is standard fare for a spellcaster, energy resistance or immunity is not a challenge, etc. They will not be able to bypass anything a caster with common spell's wouldn't, are worse at helping the party through it, and can't bypass many things a caster would find trivial. If its something they need in combat, it takes actions to activate it, and they have to sacrifice something else. There are plenty of things they can't do that I think maybe they should, like shift into something smaller. A low level wizard can dealwith being dropped from the sky. Until 20th, unless they happen to have fly already morphed, they can't stop it. There are also numerous cheap items that can give some of their bonuses.
    So yes, they are very flexible, but not as flexible as a mage, and make up for it with better action economy(kinda) and unlimited use. It does not take a lot of points to adapt to a single thing. nothing costs more than 4 points unbuffed, so saying that they can only change a fraction of their points still lets them adapt freely, but limites the flavor of what you can do.

    The main problem with these kinds of limits is that doing usefull stuff is cheap and cool stuff is expensive.

    I'm glad to hear they added cool stuff for the summoner. I've been waiting for complete magic.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Just to clarify, do you want a Master of Many Forms or do you want a dude that summons eldritch augmentations to smite his foes?

    You keep saying things like "turn into a shark" or "turn into a scorpion" if thats really what you want to do then i think you're going the wrong rout entirely. Your presented fluff is more of a "you alter your body" type of shape shifting. So a better description of your scorpion would be:

    The mans arms and legs become long and stick like, other pairs of legs erupt from his ribcage and his hands turn into strong looking pincers. Finally the mans tailbone extends into a long arching tail with a wicked looking stinger dripping poison. He smiles at you with his still human eyes as his mouth fills with sharp teeth.

    He only becomes a mechanical scorpion, he only superficially looks like one. I personally like the idea of the eldritch abomination, but if thats not wht ur going for thats cool too, we just need to know in order to give any meaningfull input.

    Also trying to balance a class to T1 casters is... Ill advised

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    turning into a shark or scorpion are just things that they should be allowed to do flavor-wise. They are perfectly free to make up new forms.

    And I'm not balancing it against t1 casters. My points is that a tier 2 caster can easily have all of their utility with level 2 spells, and a few level 3 spells. They don't access any of them earlier, they don't get access to higher level abilities, and they actually end up with less action economy compared to summoner until very high levels. Summoner can cast evolution surge on their eidolon, and in that same round the eidolon can full attack. Evolution surge increases its capability, and is sufficient to add pretty much any situational ability you need. And the summoner can do all sorts of other things that a shapeshifter can't.

    This comes in well behind any tier 1 or 2 caster. I'd estimate it at tier 3, which is a perfectly reasonable tier.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystify View Post
    turning into a shark or scorpion are just things that they should be allowed to do flavor-wise. They are perfectly free to make up new forms.
    But thats the thing I'm not sure what he's SUPPOSED to so flavor wise.

    Also being able to look like somthing to the point where a diguise check can cover the rest is power. Also T1 casters are limited by spells per day, and T2's are limited be spell slection. But your shifter has many of the good low level spells (Cause Fear, Fly, all the defense stuff), A decent blasty spell 3 times per day, is half decent at most physical skills AND is an unstoppable killing machine.

    My opinion still overpowered. Sure he can't do hard battle field control but he can do every thing else.

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    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    How many times pe day do you need the level 2 or 3 spells? A caster can get overland flight, the defensive stuff are all duplicated by trivially low level spells. A summoner can give any of them to their edilon at a moment's notice without lowering its power. A shapeshifter has to stop, gain the ability it needs, and sacrifice something else its doing. At low levels, its pool of evolution points is very limited. If it uses one of the defensive powers, they will severiously cut into their offensive capabilities. By the time this is less of an issue, all of the abilities are things spellcasters have trivial access to. At first, it takes a full round action to activate them, and they are sacrificing a large portion of their power to it. At higher levels, it takes a standard, which puts them on par with a caster for activating it, but it still eats into their other capabilities. At this same level, a summoner's eidolon could be fully tricked out for combat, be attacking, and still receive these bonuses. When they get to shifting as a move, they get a slight advanage over a caster, but by this point they are truely low level spells for a caster, and its still a significant sacrifice in actions. If you are next to the enemy, you just dropped your full attack(which they should be really good at) to a standard. If you are not next to the enemy, then you can't attack at all. This is not a trivial tradeoff in combat. At very high levels, (15+) they finally get to shift as a swift, giving them an action advantage over caters. Unless the caster's quickened them, which is a low level spell at this point(6th level spell when they have 8th). And the summoner can still be casting spells while their eidolon full attacks, and you just have yourself.

    I could easily build a sorcerer with all the flexibility of a shapeshifter, and I wouldn't feel that I had made a poor spell selection. If it was a bad spell selection, then its not a problem for the shapeshifter to have it. Generally speaking, you don't need any of the special abilities more than a couple times a day. You don't access any of them before a caster would. You have an extremly limited set of abilities to invoke, at significant cost on the battlefield.

    I'm not saying its not a significant ability, but it doesn't compare at all to what casters can do. Most of the shapeshifters abilities are direct combat improvements, which they get instead of class features.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Oct 2010

    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    First off you aren't really sacrificing actions most of the time. Theres no duration so you are wandering around the dungeon as a centaur or arrow slug or ape man or what ever.

    2nd off if you have a modicum of int you can have enough skills trained and have the rest available available at the low low cost of an arm or a leg. Making you the best(or one of the best) skill monkey (you can boost dex to get over the cross class non-bonus)

    Also in raw combat potential you outstrip(not quite at first level) every one else in offense and defense WITHOUT MAGIC ITEMS
    First level you can use your claws 1d4 and still get DR 5 (average great sword damage is 11 with a 16 str spears are at 8.5 short swords are at 6.5) you still take damage but it's arguably better than armor.
    Or you could get natty armor +2 (thats leather armor, not bad) and still use your claws AND get 2 1d6 pincer attacks (claws can go on your feet you know)

    Further more, you actually do have a good bit of control, between push/pull, swollow whole, and web

    So it's not really that you are better than or equal to casters, it's just that you are still better than every one else.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Mystify's Avatar

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    Aug 2010

    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    An eidolon wanders around as the shifted form all the time as well. Whatever defenses you have on the wanering around form are at the same tradeoff as an eidolon with them. If you wantto drop that defense for more offense, it takes the action still, so there is a cost. Even at 20th level you can't afford every defense boost at the same time, so you can't even try walking around in a full defensive mode then shift to combat mode when combat starts. Druids can walk around shapeshifted constantly, eidolons are always combat ready, fighters walk around in full armour, why should the shapeshifter spend actions to ready themselves for combat?

    I don't understand what you mean about the skills. They have a very limited list of skills they can boost, none of them skill monkey skills. it is a very high level before they can boost their dex to a +6, which would put them on par with a skill monkey who put no other effort into it, assuming you started with as much dex as them, and only at the very highest levels will they have the slightest bonus over them. they have very poor skills known, so a skill monkey will have more skills to monkey with. I specifically removed the "gain +8 skills" for excatly this reason, except for a few that I felt would reasonable be boosted by shapeshfiting, and made that into a level scale. An eidolon would make a better skill monkey.

    If you are outstripping everyone in combat potential, then that is a balance issue with summoner that is carrying over. people who have played with summoner's say that a well built fighter is still better than the eidolon. Your advantage over an eidilon is in flexibility, not raw power. In fact, you are a bit behind, since a summoner will be buffing the eidolon all over the place. Also note that I did not give shapeshifter the base +2 NA that an eidolon gets from its base form. So in a straight up fight between a summoner+eidolon and a shapeshifter, the shapeshifter will lose. If it actually is better than everything else, then that is an adjustment that needs to be made to summoner, and shapeshifter, being based on it, would be similarly fixed.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Oct 2010

    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystify View Post
    So in a straight up fight between a summoner+eidolon and a shapeshifter, the shapeshifter will lose.
    I don't know about that, your shapshifter has full bab and 33% more hp over a edilon's 3/4 and gimped hp. A shape shifter also has Full WBL over an edilon/summoner combo. If other summons get brough in via spell casting i suppose there could be trouble. It also depends on if the sumoner gets buff time.

    I would like to see an actual comparison between this well built fighter and a shapeshifter.(PF feats might make this believable but i doubt it)

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Mystify's Avatar

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    Aug 2010

    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Swindle89 View Post
    I don't know about that, your shapshifter has full bab and 33% more hp over a edilon's 3/4 and gimped hp. A shape shifter also has Full WBL over an edilon/summoner combo. If other summons get brough in via spell casting i suppose there could be trouble. It also depends on if the sumoner gets buff time.

    I would like to see an actual comparison between this well built fighter and a shapeshifter.(PF feats might make this believable but i doubt it)
    Summoner can make their eidolon invisible, have greater heroism, dispel
    the shapeshifter's buffs(like their amulet of mighty fists)
    WBL is also harder for a shapeshifter to utilize. An Amulet of mighty fists is expensive, and caps out at +5, whereas a fighter can get a +10 weapon. It also takes up the amulet slot, which can also grant con or natural armour, so it lacks that, have overland flight on the eidolon and save on the points for the fly evolution, give it 2 additional evolutions, utilise permament greater magic fang to
    get the edilons weapons +5 (relatively) cheapely, and stack a amulet of might fists with enhancements on top (shapeshifter could do this, but if they lose their weapons the enhancement goes away, and wastes all the money). Lets see a moderate accuracy boost contend with an invisible version of yourself that actually has just as much accuracy bonus with additional magic damage, bigger stat boosts, more armour, etc.



    I'll see what I can pull together for a fighter later, I don't have time right now.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Jun 2016

    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    Hey Mistify, just came across this and I really like your idea. I have been trying to make a shapeshifting focused class using the games current classes and have been mostly disappointed. I read through, love your idea, and have some possible solutions to everyone's "flexibility" concerns.

    What if, as someone mentioned, at the beginning of the day you choose a main form. You choose the base and all the evolution allocations. You can now shift into that form at will (starting as a standard probably and getting better over time). Additionally, you have a Shifting Pool. This allows you to completely change your base form and evolutions (maybe start as a full-round, get faster over time) for a certain amount of time (1 hour per level?). Once the duration expires or you choose to leave the form, you return to your original form you prepared that morning, or to your normal humanoid form. This pool would start small, maybe one point at first. Gain an additional point every three levels perhaps? 1 at 1st, 2 at 4th, 3 at 7th, 4 at 10th, 5 at 13th, to a max of 6 at 19th. Or maybe every two levels to keep ahead of the Druid. Would have to test it to find out really.

    Additionally, I liked someones idea of gaining evolution surge as a SLA. Maybe tie its uses to a mental stat. Or, make it tied to the above mentioned Shifting Pool? That might be too constricting but it might be the restriction needed to keep this in balance.

    I like this idea a lot, I am going to try to flesh it out a little and then see if one my DMs will let me try it. If I do, I will report back!

    P.S. I agree that it has some insane flexibility, but no more than Tier 1 and 2 classes already have. Some evolutions and the number of evolutions might need to be tweaked so we don't just completely outclass other martials, but frankly other martials need a buff anyway.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Dec 2014

    Default Re: New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter

    At first I thought this would just be a re-skin of the synthesist archetype but I am pleasantly surprised that it is not. I could see someone doing something freakish by abusing the ability to grow an absurd amount of extra arms followed by having the multi-weapon attack feat.

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